Phillies 2017 Season Preview: First Base Prospect Rhys Hoskins

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Feb 25, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins (70) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins (70) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Phillies have tremendous depth throughout their system. One name who has started to find fan’s radars is Rhys Hoskins, who enters 2017 with high hopes.

The depth of the Phillies farm system is well-known throughout baseball. If a discussion were to be had among baseball fans, however, the conversation would be centered around certain prospects.

There would absolutely be mention of the high expectations surrounding J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams. It could lead into how Jorge Alfaro and Dylan Cozens have unlimited power potential. There is no doubt that pitchers like Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Sixto Sanchez, and Franklyn Kilome would join the dialogue.

However, there will probably be little to no mention of Rhys Hoskins. That lack of awareness comes as no surprise considering he could easily be the most underrated of all the Phils prospects.

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The Phillies selected Hoskins in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of California State University, Sacramento. His first full season began with the Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws and ended after a promotion to the High-A Clearwater Threshers. He had a fantastic season, slashing .319/.395/.518 and clubbing 17 bombs, while adding 90 RBI.

With numbers like those, there was no question that Hoskins would begin 2016 in Double-A Reading.

He had an equally successful, if not better, year compared to the previous season with a .281/.377/.566 slash line to pair with 38 homers and 116 RBI.

The power numbers are inflated to a degree as a result of FirstEnergy Field, Reading’s home stadium, being a home run-friendly park. He has 20-30 home run potential, but not the near 40 he put up last year.

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Keeping it simple, the right-handed slugger has to hit and continue to get on base at a high clip to get to the big leagues. He has Tommy Joseph in front of him currently and the team could wind up moving Maikel Franco to first base in the future if necessary. His approach will absolutely help him as he faces his newest challenge: Triple-A pitching.

The co-owner of the 2016 Paul Owens Award does struggle with offspeed pitches, but has showed quality pitch selection so far in spring training. According to an article by Ryan Lawrence, Phils manager Pete Mackanin has been very impressed with the 23 year old slugger:

"“That’s what we’re looking for, guys that aren’t going to make outs early in the count swinging at bad pitches.”"

Next: Kingery, Hoskins Assigned to Minor-League Camp

If Hoskins is able to show the Phillies brass that he can hit upper-level offspeed and breaking pitches, he may prove that he is the option the team should move forward with at first base. As 2017 is ready to start, Hoskins has started to turn some heads and open some eyes. If he wants the attention to turn into a big league opportunity, he has one more challenge to overcome. If he succeeds, the Phils will have a nice problem on their hands come 2018.

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